Why do some supercars have different sized wheels?
Though it is not the case in all supercars, many employ different sized rims opting for larger ones in the rear. Why do some supercars have different sized wheels? We will attempt to answer that with a little science.
Do any current Lamborghini models employ different sized wheels?
The Aventador S actually has different sized wheels from front to back. The fronts are 20-inch rims and the backs are 21-inch rims. This also extends to the new Aventador SVJ. Of course, much like most other supercars, the Aventador S employs aluminum alloy wheels at all four corners. Currently, it is the only Lamborghini model to employ different wheel diameters front to back.
Advantages of larger rear wheels in an RWD car?
Having a larger diameter rear wheel increases the amount of rubber that contacts the road along the axis of the vehicle which increases your acceleration potential. When you accelerate, much of your vehicle’s weight shifts to the rear. By comparison, the front wheels don’t need as large a contact patch to take care of steering and braking.
This is all well and good, but what about non-rear-wheel-drive cars? After all, the Aventador S is actually an all-wheel-drive vehicle, as are most supercars in its class. Does it have the same benefits? We’ll explore that more below.
Read More: Lamborghini Aventador S vs Aventador SVJ
Advantages of larger rear wheels in an AWD car?
Though you may think that having larger rear wheels doesn’t make the same sense in an all-wheel-drive vehicle, it actually does. Under heavy acceleration, your vehicle’s weight is still shifting backward.
Though your front wheels are certainly doing some work, the rears will still do most of it under heavy acceleration. Also, having a larger contact patch in the rear helps stabilize the vehicle when coming out of corners.
Non-performance reasons for different sized wheels
Performance isn’t the only reason to opt for larger rims in the back. It also allows the car to put the rear axle higher up. Depending on your engine design, that can make packaging easier or more ideal in a mid-engine vehicle. Also, it often simply looks better to have larger rims in the rear.